Sur et les noms de territoires

Abstract : This paper deals with the French preposition sur 'on' when used with nouns denoting grounds (NGs), i.e. nouns denoting parts of the Earth's surface (terrain 'ground', plage 'beach', lande 'moor', place 'square', campus 'campus', etc.). In such contexts, sur does not exhibit the same semantic features as in its other spatial uses. It has the prototypical geometrical properties of two-dimensionality and horizontality. But the material relation between a support and something which is supported (Vandeloise 1986) does not apply, as shown by the impossibility of anaphora between sur + NGs and the adverb dessus 'on top of it'. Actually, sur + NGs may profile the spatial landmark as a ground for action, especially when locating humans (être sur le terrain 'be on the field', être sur Paris 'be in Paris'). A comprehensive spatial definition of sur is then outlined.
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Richard Huyghe. Sur et les noms de territoires. Cuadernos de Filología Francesa, 2012, pp.169-186. ⟨hal-00975581⟩

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